Thankful Hearts by Evelyn Aster

I seriously need to find the Holiday Cafe featured in this series. They have a latte that tastes like apple pie! I want! I need!!

What’s it About? 


All Stacy wants is the perfect Thanksgiving at her new house. And after a year without sex, a boyfriend would be the whipped cream on the apple pie.

All Hudson wants is the perfect Thanksgiving after his third Army tour in Afghanistan. But he arrives home to find his brother engaged to his girlfriend. He takes off on his Triumph motorcycle to drive 700 miles to the only place he can think of: the Holiday Cafe.

Stacy and Hudson knew each other on Words with Friends, but when he arrives to meet Stacy and share an Apple Pie Latte with a shot of toffee their relationship goes from platonic to romantic faster than his Triumph accelerator.

First Impressions

Stacy is more than happy to provide Hudson with a proper homecoming when he seeks her out after returning from Afghanistan. They’re quick to have some hot and passionate sex (on a motorcycle no less), and I’ll admit I was kind of wondering where the story could go from there. Turns out, everywhere! There are so many emotions and plot lines that connect so unbelievably well.

One thing’s for sure with this book, you can’t possibly get bored with it. There’s always something happening, from Hudson acclimatizing to civilian life, Stacy preparing her house for Thanksgiving, a gang member harassing her employees, and even discovering a long-lost grandfather. On top of all that, we also have some hotter than hot and descriptive sex scenes between Stacy and Hudson. Now that’s what I like to think of as the whipped cream on my apple pie!

whipped cream

A Difficult Subject

The romance between Stacy and Hudson is so sweet, yet also surrounded by drama as they both try to cope with Hudson’s PTSD. It’s a difficult, not to mention sensitive, subject matter to deal with, but it was obviously handled with the utmost care and expertise by the author. Aster has the ability to transport you into the novel, and make you feel like you are also sitting at the dinner table with the rest of her characters as Hudson’s PTSD comes to the forefront.


Aster can definitely describe a sex scene in amazing detail, but when it comes to those scenes where Hudson is transported back to the battle field in his mind, shaking and sweating with anxiety? They are so gripping that I found myself holding my breath, and even bouncing my leg in anticipation.


This book has its moments of tension, but it also manages to have some comedy thrown in there as well. Thanksgiving is both Hudson and Stacy’s favorite holiday, as it provides you with the important sense of family minus all of the craziness around presents that goes with Christmas. The irony of it all is that Stacy is working so hard to fix her new house up for her family, yet they kind of frustrate the crap out of her throughout the book. It’s so true to life I love it!


Something else I loved about this book was how Stacy comes to be Hudson’s family. He is a war hero who realizes that he has signs of PTSD, and tries to draw from his inner strength to control it. Stacy is also a strong character in her own right, as she stands by Hudson in his darkest of moments. She refuses to give up on him, like the rest of his family has sort of already done, and does her best to get him the help he needs. Both are strong and loving characters to be admired.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: The Holiday Cafe, book 2. The first book was awesome; the second book is awesome; I want the next book to focus on the quirky owner of the Holiday Cafe, Chloe. But I’ll take anything I can get! If you haven’t read book 1, no worries! This one is a stand-alone, but I’d still recommend book 1 because, again, it’s awesome.

Should you read it? I can think of no better book for you to read in the month of November, what with both Veterans Day and Thanksgiving taking place. It’s sweet, sexy, intense, and focuses on the difficult yet ever important subject of PTSD.

Smut Level: We’ve got motorcycle sex, elevator sex, up against the refrigerator sex. What more could you want?

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Hot Java, Amazon Digital Services. 253 Pages.